Reduction in urinary tract infection – Although uncommon in males, it reduces the risk of urinary tract infection (UTI) since it eliminates the preputial space that provides a warm moist environment for pathogens and bodily secretions.
In a systematic review of 12 studies including data on over 400,000 males primarily under 1 year of age, circumcision reduced the risk of UTI by almost 90 percent.
Reduction in penile inflammation and retractile disorders – In the uncircumcised male, balanitis (inflammation of the head of the penis) and posthitis (inflammation of the foreskin) usually occur together. A circumcision prevents this type of penile infection (balanoposthitis) as there is no foreskin. Please note, balanitis is still possible, but the rate is reduced. A circumcision also prevents phimosis and paraphimosis, both of which are conditions where the foreskin of the penis cannot be properly retracted.
Reduction of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections – It reduces the risk of contracting certain sexually transmitted diseases including Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), Herpes (HSV-2) and AIDS (HIV).
Please note that the HPV vaccine (Gardasil) plays a much larger role in the prevention of HPV related diseases, and is now part of Ontario’s vaccination program.
Easier hygiene – Good genital hygiene (washing the entire penis, including the glans, with soap and water while bathing) is important for all males and is generally easier in the absence of a foreskin. Uncircumcised boys should be taught the importance of washing beneath the foreskin on a regular basis when the foreskin is fully retractable. Good hygiene may prevent many problems associated with the foreskin, but can be difficult to maintain in uncircumcised boys. Studies of middle class schoolboys concluded that penile hygiene is usually not well-maintained.
Avoid having a circumcision at an older age – It eliminates the need to undergo the procedure later in life, when up to 6% of boys will require a circumcision as a result of various problems. When performed later in life, the circumcision is more painful, more difficult to perform, and carries a higher level of risk along with a much longer recovery period.
Procedure related complications – Complications are rare; various studies have estimated the rate at 0.2%.
Some of the possible complications include: